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When I was a student

By The Student Guide Team
When I was a student

Student life is rife with stereotypes that surprisingly haven’t changed all that much since your parents went to university – the first time away from home, those ‘mental’ nights that will never be equalled and of course, the terrible cooking.  We wanted to know what being a student was really like and how the student experience changes you.

Over the next few weeks we will be asking those who have been there and done it about their experiences, and what better place to start than us guys at The Student Guide.

After hearing from our editor Luke Martin, next up is assistant editor Gemma:

 

What did you study and where?
English Language and Literature in Education at The University of Birmingham.

How did you make that decision?

As soon as I arrived at the uni on the open day, I loved it! English was one of my favourite subjects at school and college, so I knew an English based course would be ideal.

What’s your favourite memory as a student?

Meeting the people who have become some of my closest friends and having so many laughs.

Do you have any regrets from your time at university?

I joined the Dance Society in the second and third year and absolutely loved it so I regret not having joined it in first year. But other than that, I have no regrets.  

The cost is obviously a major worry and influences people’s decisions regarding going to university – how did you successfully budget and manage your money?
I think Freshers week was a big learning curve - I didn’t exactly budget. So from then on I realised that I couldn’t realistically keep doing that if I wanted to be able to survive. I then started to limit the amount of money I’d take on a night out. I also worked at a pub during the holidays.

How did your time at university influence where you are now?

I realised even more how much I love writing and wanted to work in an environment where I can put my skills to good use.

Can you give us 3 of your university DOs and DON’Ts?


Do: Make the most of it!

Do: Be sociable and meet lots of new people.

Do: Strike a good balance — obviously get work done but make time for fun!



Don’t: Forget to let your parents know you’re still alive.

Don’t: Spend all your money in the first two weeks of term.

Don’t: Panic. Keep on top of things and if you’re worrying, talk to your tutor.

 

Aside from the obvious course-related stuff, what did you learn as a student?

I learnt how to cook ha! But I also learnt a lot about myself (as cheesy as it sounds) and grew massively in confidence.

If you could be a student again, what would you do differently?

I wouldn’t do anything differently apart from make the most of every moment even more.

 

 

Editor: Luke Martin.


What did you study and where?

I went to the University of Sheffield twice. My first degree was in Politics and my second was in Print Journalism.

How did you make that decision?

It was an easy one to make; I only applied for that particular course at Sheffield. I have to let you all into a little secret. I was a mature student so I chose to study in my home city. Politics and then Journalism was the plan when I first applied for uni so it’s a good job it worked out.

What’s your favourite memory as a student?

Freedom. Having worked for the previous 13 years (stop working out my age) it was a revelation that I had the freedom to do basically what I wanted in the day. Obviously I went to lectures and stuff but until you have worked in a full time job you don’t realise how much freedom you have at uni, so to all the students reading this just enjoy your freedom.

Do you have any regrets from your time at university?

That I didn’t get a 1st. I was close twice, but I can’t help but think that if I had put in that little extra here and there I would have achieved it.

The cost is obviously a major worry and influences people’s decisions regarding going to university – how did you successfully budget and manage your money?

I worked for the 4 years I was there. I’m fortunate enough to be a qualified chef so it was easy to fit work around my studies. Sometimes it was hard going to work straight from lectures and vice versa but I managed. I worked every weekend and every holiday to build up the cash. I also qualified for a few bursaries so I would check out what extra funding you qualify for. Every university should have the facility to do this. Ask at your student services for information on this.

How did your time at university influence where you are now?

Basically it got me the job. I know that seems pretty simple but the MA gave me the practical knowledge and the BA in Politics gave me the theoretical knowledge. In The Student Guide 2013 we example how education has changed in the past few years and where once a post grad qualification was seen as a luxury this may be changing. Check out our article here.

Can you give us 3 of your university DOs and DON’Ts?

Do: Enjoy it; this is the best time of your life.

Do: Make friends with everyone.

Do: The work, you will regret it if you don’t.

 

Don’t: Waste this opportunity.

Don’t: Isolate yourself, friends are wonderful things.

Don’t: Think that the night before you deadline is the best time to start.


Aside from the obvious course-related stuff, what did you learn as a student?

That the world is a very big place. I was lucky enough to go to a uni where I met people from all around the world. I’d never had this opportunity before and now I have friends on every continent.

If you could be a student again, what would you do differently?

Get that extra 3% for my beloved 1st.
 

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